If one asks about the cooking essentials that make the chef’s equipment list complete. The answers would vary from sophisticated knives, sizzling stoves, aprons, fryers, etc.
Among the din of cooking aids, many would overlook the basic and foremost unsung hero of cooking – the cutting board.
Can you exist on Earth without perching on its surface? Same as, the state-of-the-art cooking starts from fine slicing, chopping, and slashing. A botched handled cutting pattern is disgusting for the chef and the eater. The low aesthetics wipe out the hunger in a jiffy.
Cutting boards provide a solid foundation to prevent unnecessary jostling during the cutting exercise. Every attempt hits the mark, and you end up in a neat and clean final product.
According to the research report by International Culinary data published by search engine Bingo, “Cutting boards plays a role of catalyst and eases up the work burden by 30℅”. (The Haute Couture).
This blog is solely dedicated to cutting boards and their subsequent types. We are damn sure that you need not consult any outside source to aid you in selecting a nice one for your kitchen after going through this Rosetta stone. Let’s start!
Aspects that Aid in Cutting Board Selection
These are the attached features that make the cutting board wrong or right choice. To tread a cautious path, we would emphasize marking this itinerary before checking out with the cart.
Note that we have deliberately omitted the material type from this section despite the crystal clear argument that material is the king that makes or breaks the cutting board reputation. In essence, material type is much more vital that we have allocated a separate space, further in this blog, to deliberate on this. Let’s examine the other aspects.
1. Size is the Key
First and foremost, before plunging into the buying foray. Let yourself be very clear and specific about the size. The size needs vary from chef to chef. Whether you are fileting tuna or chopping cucumber, the terrain size determines the right amount of magic to do the trick.
It is also pertinent to note that we cannot give you a liberal guess about the cutting board’s size as the needs vary; a bartender would need little board to wedge the would-be garnish. On the other hand, a hardcore cook may need a spacious cutting board to finalize the steaks.
The wrong estimation about the size would land you in double jeopardy; oversizing means uncomfortable cooking, larger than the counter, and knee striking. At the same time, the shrunk one will be a cooking curse rather than an aid. Neither the cutting nor handling would be on-spot.
A large cutting board may also create storage issues. You would require more room to nestle in after the usage. A cutting-edge phenomenon is the storage device that helps you keep your cutting boards secure but still, these devices eat up the countertop space. If you place the cutting board somewhere without any care, the busy bees and germs will make your cutting board a petri dish of bacteria infestation.
2. Cutting Boards Walk on Foot
Secondly, take a deep look into the cutting board’s legs; this would help you in the long run. Cutting boards are prone to be slipped across the glossy countertops; this accidental slippage is extremely dangerous when sharp knives are on the go. Nonetheless, these are the non-slip feet or corners that clasp the surface firmly.
Try to buy a cutting board with non-slip feet so your clumsy handling may not incur injury.
3. Your Kitchen is Not a Butcher’s Shop
This point is important for the newbies or the chefs with an innate disposition of rough working. Sagaciously built cutting boards mitigate the effects of botched cutting in the first palace and do not let your produce spread everywhere. Apart from the smooth cutting boards, some have textured surfaces that maximize friction.
Few also have the pointed grooves for clasping the large pieces of meat in place. Other wavy grooves cater to the juices and crumbs to help restrict the mess around.
4. Where to Place, Ma’am!
Not everyone can afford or have the storage devices for cutting boards. It is better to stick with a cutting board that offers its placement style on its own sans depending on any external aid. Mostly the composite or plastic cutting boards have holes engraved into ends that serve as a placing or carrying avenue.
On the other hand, some wooden boards come up with stainless or recessed handles screwed on that help in comfy placement and transportation.
Handling plays a vital role in grading usability, and for utmost comfort, you should not go for the basic cutting boards sans placement advisory.
5. Hold my Hand, and Fly me Towards the Skies
This aspect is solely for the newcomers; the cutting board turns into a visual guideline. If your kitchen is brimming with entry-level aspiring chefs, you must consider investing in the cutting boards with visual guidelines.
Some cutting boards have specific striped patterns for cutting pizza, while some others have ruler-style lines running down the centers with varying increments to aid cook prepare food with consistency.
The Cutting Board Ecosystem
Cutting boards do not work in isolation but in sync with your kitchen accessories. If you buy, use, or place the cutting boards, your cutting board will mock you in a broken posture sooner or later.
No matter your usability needs, the following accessories would help you extract the best out of your cutting board.
- Scrapers – Scrapers, aka refinishers, are the sharp blade tools to maintain cutting boards’ smooth surfaces by eliminating the scores or gouges that provide safe havens for bacteria proliferation.
- Safety mats – Safety mats are placed beneath the cutting boards that enhance the grip to the surface. Slipping and sliding are easily tackled by rolling out the safety mats. Moreover, safety mats are dishwasher friendly and non-absorbent to enhance the hygienic grade.
- Storage stands – Storage stands work in different aspects to entertain your cutting boards. Firstly, the stands save up the shelf or counter space by allowing your cutting boards to perch in an upright posture. Secondly, the placement allows round-the-clock air circulation, promoting drying after washing. Moreover, the stands have multiple avenues to hold 6-10 boards and similar hooks for placing the board brushes.
- Board brush – Board brushes are the easiest way to clean the cutting boards; the brushes are often color-coded; hence, preventing cross-contamination.
Types of Cutting Boards
If you wonder what type of cutting board to buy, then no more confusion; we will elaborate on the types of cutting boards accordingly. At the end of the read, you would be confident enough to opt-in your Mr. Perfect.
1. Wooden cutting boards
Wooden cutting boards are by far the most used cutting boards across the globe. The metadata website claims that every third American household is a consumer of wooden cutting boards. (Online report).
Wooden cutting boards are popular among all age groups owing to their versatility in cutting and easy cleaning options. However, the seniors like it the most because of nostalgic attachments. Wooden cutting boards had been in our social fabric when the other types were even not surfaced. If you use the wooden board with care, it may last for ten consecutive years.
Wooden cutting boards could cater to almost every type of edible, while the meat is the most sought-after object owing to the organic treatment of bacteria on wooden surfaces. Other edibles like fruits and vegetables can also be cut down easily except the fruits with dark pigments.
The aesthetics of wooden cutting boards are comparatively high as the neutral wooden color matches up with the kitchen’s decor and charms up the positive vibes.
Coveted wood for cutting boards
Let’s examine out the pros that make the wooden cutting boards a buzzword in the chef town.
- High aesthetics: There is no second thought to the fabulous looks of the wooden cutting board. Wooden cutting boards are indeed aesthetically pleasing to the onlookers owing to the chic and swish fashioning. If you have a functional space in your kitchen, nothing could be more decorative than the wooden option.
- Knife-friendly: Wooden cutting boards are malleable and minimize the friction up to the optimal extent. This, in turn, helps in the longevity of the knives, the edge remains razor-sharp, and you need not consult the whetting stone time and again.
- Durable: Quality wooden boards last longer without any extra caution to the durability side. Wooden cutting boards could be streamlined for hard-core usage; hence, justifying your hard-earned investment.
- Organic: Wooden cutting boards are organic and free from all the toxicity that fears in the synthesized manufacturing.
However, some dark sides gobble up the glittering aspects of the wooden cutting boards; the negative list says,
- Assimilate climatic changes: There are no doubts over the wooden cutting boards’ durability. Still, in the longer run, wooden boards are prone to environmental variations such as high moisture and most, resulting in your wooden board in a not-flat chopping terrain.
- Bad odor: Wooden cutting boards can get stinky after executing onions or garlic; the smell repellent mechanism is very tricky with the wooden boards.
- Stain issue: Certain veggies leave stains on the cutting boards. The stains left, such as by the beet, are tough to wash and remove.
- High-end cutting boards are expensive: If you crave the finest quality, then you will have to hand in a handsome amount of cash; this aspect makes a wooden cutting board a coveted item for lower-income strata.
Bathe the wooden cutting board into the warm water and give dish soap treatment through the brush or sponge.
2. Rubber cutting boards
“Rubber is the rapidly prevailing material for kitchen wares because of wood shortage.” (The National Forestry, 2020 edition). The same is the case with the cutting boards; you will frequently spot the rubber cutting boards, popular among professional chefs owing to the very high life expectancy – in an average of 15 years.
Nonetheless, the householders still see the idea of rubber cutting boards as despicable due to the subpar looks. The rubber cutting board seems like a mechanical board for experimenting with something. Although you can put all kinds of edibles onto a rubber cutting board, elastic ones like meat are considered a lousy cutting idea due to rubber’s bumping effect. Rubber is popular among the corporate fraternity.
Coveted shape for rubber cutting boards
- The classical rectangular shape
- Cares your knife’s edge: Unlike granite countertops or plastic and wooden cutting boards, the rubberized cutting boards assimilate the knife strokes rather than fighting back. This keeps your knife edges razor-sharp sans frequent sharpening and honing.
- Hard-core: Rubber-cutting boards last for a very long duration. Rubber boards are bulky and less prone to warping. The only risk against the durability side is harmful heat exposure.
- Easy cleaning: Rubber cutting boards do not require oiling, which is a must-have in the case of wooden ones. You can give a quick wash to the rubber cutting boards with a soap and water combination. Your rubberized board is alike new.
- Reusability: We have to replace the cutting boards often due to the permanence of scars, stains, gashes, and cuts all over them. Rubber cutting boards provide us an opportunity to renew by sanding through a machine that rubs up and gives a first-rate appearance to your old, withering rubber cutting board.
- Heavier: Rubber cutting boards are heavier than the other contemporary cutting boards; hence challenging to carry and place.
- Low aesthetics: Low aesthetics is the biggest reason for the downfall of rubber cutting boards; it gives a mechanic look to your kitchen rather than enveloping a sentimental aura.
- Heat sensitivity: Rubber cutting boards are prone to heat and warm water; the consistent exposure gets it warped within no time.
- Grabby to the edges: You will not feel a natural thrust during cutting that you observe with the wooden or other cutting boards.
No need for special cleaning oils, just get it through the soapy water.
3. Plastic cutting boards
Plastic cutting boards rule the roost despite all the solicited or unsolicited opposition. Alone in North America, “there is a surge of 2.5 percent annually reported in plastic usage.” (Consumer Price Index). This usage incorporates all the genres, including kitchen products and more precise cutting boards.
The glittering specifications of the plastic cutting boards are hygienic posture and elegant looks. Plastic cannot be decimated organically and runs for very long; this lacuna makes it durable to the core as plastic cutting boards can be used for multiple decades. However, overuse could cause the open invitation to carcinogenic factors.
Children and youngsters like plastic cutting boards the most, while elders seem reluctant due to the “plastic boom” after the 2000s. Almost everything can be chopped down in plastic cutting boards except heavy items that might lead to the board’s fracturing.
Coveted plastics for cutting boards
- Light on pocket: The factor that pushes the plastic into the list of top cutting boards is its low cost. Plastic is accessible to everyone.
- Space accommodative and lightweight: You can place four plastic cutting boards in the same space where you nestle the one wooden one. Furthermore, plastic is lighter than wooden or rubberized material.
- Dishwasher friendly: Not 100%, but almost 70% of plastic cutting boards are dishwasher friendly and provide you the ease to wash conveniently.
- Hygienic: Plastic cutting boards do not have the insidious dark spots to provide a haven for bacteria. The surface is flat and could be cleaned easily. For raw meat, fish, and other risky foods, plastic is the most sought-after option.
- Scratches all around: Plastic can easily be dinged up by sharp knives, depicting a sad war-torn situation after a couple of usages. This downturn makes plastic not an ideal material for cutting boards.
- Hurt knives: Plastic faces every strike of the knife on the chin; the constant concussion renders your knife full of cramps.
- Attached health risks: Activists bemoan the rising trend of plastic owing to its looming threat to the environment and subsequently human health. Some plastics may promote carcinogenic flashpoints, staking your life at risk.
- Not environmental–friendly: The average degradation life of plastic is above 100 years. The constant presence of toxic plastic in the environment poses a challenge to humanity. Nothing could be more harmful than the plastic to your surroundings. So, the conscious global citizens usually curtail the plastic option due to this factor.
Mix the teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water apply with the soft sponge and glitter the plastic
4. Bamboo cutting boards
The first statistic we all must have learned about bamboo is its distinction from the rapid-growing plant (grass). The same is its market sharing competitiveness with rival wood. “30% of Britons have switched from wood to bamboo cutting boards in the last decade.” (The Chef Magazine).
Mainly general householders like bamboo cutting boards as it is unsuitable for chefs’ hardcore cutting.
Bamboo is not fit for cutting incessantly or entertaining tricky substances. More than often, bamboo cutting boards are only suitable for grassy or leafy cutting. The life cycle of bamboo is relatively trimmed, and you might go for replacement after every three years.
Overall, bamboo is a beautiful material to incorporate in cutting boards because of its sleek looks and chic fashion.
Coveted bamboo for cutting boards
- Dense marsh bamboo
- Laminated strips: Bamboo cutting boards are enveloped into laminated strips that minimize the chances of warping up to minimal levels. Besides, the protective lamination also guards against the scars and scratches of the sharp knives.
- Organic looks: Bamboo is equally beautiful as wood. It provides a cheaper alternative to wood with high aesthetics and posturing. Bamboo cutting boards charm up your home’s decor.
- Affordable: Bamboo is an economical material that provides the maximum goodness in a budgeted price bracket.
- Stainless: Bamboo cutting boards are stainless owing to no absorption of the beet and meat juices. The non-absorption of liquids also makes the bamboo cutting board a hygienic choice – a medical-grade kitchen item.
- Fraying against heat: Bamboo cutting boards can easily be frayed against the heat owing to their grassy nature. Hence, this type cannot be used as a hot plate.
- High silica content: The enriched silica and glue into the bamboo make it a hellish option for knives’ sharpness. Knives are reportedly cramped once applied onto bamboo cutting boards; hence need consistent whetstone treatment.
- Termites attack: Some users have reported having their bamboo cutting boards eaten by termites (a little wood-eating insect). Grassy bamboo might be a relishing sweet dish for termites.
- High friction: Bamboo is the grass that has high friction, a bad scenario for cutting without snags. The bamboo surface has a thumping effect and clouds the knife with every strike.
Just like wood, bamboo can only be washed with mild soap.
6 & 7. Glass or stone cutting boards
Stone has been used as a cutting board since medieval times, and the cutting-edge morphed shape is glass. Before further elaboration on the glass or stone cutting boards, we put forward our personal and sincere opinion.
No, no, no, and just no, whatever alluring features are attached to the glass or stone boards, you must not opt unless spoiling every knife into your kitchen seems a good idea.
Keep in mind that diamond (the hardest ever found substance on Earth) is used to cut glass. Why, with all senses intact, would one have an idea of dragging your sophisticated knives across such material? If you already have a glass or stone cutting board in your kitchen. Chuck it out through the windowpane as soon as possible for the wellbeing of your knives.
Furthermore, glass or stone cutting boards are prone to break, and if, God forbid, fall on your foot, you will be having an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.
Coveted glass/stone for cutting boards
- Pyrex glass
- Durable: If your glass or stone cutting board does not come across an accidental fall, the cutting boards would prove long-lasting.
- Economical: These sorts of cutting boards are the cheapest option in comparison to peers.
- Easy to clean: Clean the glass or stone cutting board with a wet cloth in a jiffy.
- Elegant look: Glass cutting board perches on the highest echelon of classical looks.
- Knife damage: Glass or stone cutting boards could leave irreparable chips onto the edges of knives.
- Break upon fall: The biggest handling lacuna of glass/stone cutting boards is their propensity to be easily broken upon accidental fall.
- Scratches all around: The hard surface is prone to be affected by scratches.
- Hard to cut down: Glass or stone is not a nice surface to trim things easily, the difficulty becomes a double whammy for the new chefs.
Tough on knives but easy with the dishwashers
What wood is to be used for the cutting board?
The answer lies in density; dense hardwood lumber bolstered with closed graining roll out a perfect layout for the cutting boards; on the other hand, less dense woods are considered anathema, open-pored woods are also harder to clean.
Dense (ideal): Walnut, maple, cherry
Open-pored (bad): pine, ash, red oak.
What is a good cutting board?
The question is pretty much subjective; however, keeping brands anonymous, we may say that a good cutting board is the one that incorporates the maximum good features such as higher density, closed-pores, usability, and grooving patterns, with the right size. A villain cutting board for one could be a hero for another chef, so do not be confused. We have seen some veterans comfortable with awful cutting boards just because of their nostalgic attachments.
What oil to be used on cutting boards?
Mineral oil or liquid paraffin is considered the unparalleled oil choice to be applied on the cutting boards. Mineral oil is transparent, food-grade, inexpensive with no taste or odor. Over the top, the mineral oil is not prone to rancidity.
In case you could not get the mineral oil, some of the second-tier viable choices are carnauba, lemon juice, baking soda, linseed oil, tung oil, or coconut oil. Nonetheless, we reiterate, there is no match for the mineral oil.
What is the best wood to be used for a cutting board?
Maple, in its both hard and soft variants, deliver an excellent cutting surface. Nonetheless, the hard maple is an industry-grade wood with optimal impact and scratch resistance.
What type of cutting board is the best for meat?
Plastic cutting boards are considered more hygienic, resilient, and durable for cutting meat than wooden boards or the infamous butcher blocks that are porous and a perfect avenue to accommodate grime, dirt, and germs.
What material makes the best cutting board?
The answer itself is debatable with a bevy of proponents and antagonists. We cannot label a single type as the best one. However, if we pick one aspect of versatility, then the rubber cutting board stands out. Rubber cutting boards can easily cater to raw meat, vegetables, ready-to-eat foods, and fruits.
This detailed blog about the cutting boards must have cleared many misconceptions and would help you identify the best out of the best. We remind you that cutting boards play a vital role in your cooking-cum-cutting spree. A lacuna in the earliest phase would run down the whole noble edifice of satiating the hunger games. Nice cutting boards also boost up the speed of your cooking time, and these allow you to relish the kitchen time with utmost comfortability. Furthermore, a little change of the cooking perch may turn your life upside down positively.
The only caution is to check all the essential aspects that have already been conveyed to you. Select the type according to your customized choice and conquer the stomachs.
Adieu, our pal at forks!